HC acquits Salman Khan of all charges in 2002 accident case
HC quashed trial court’s conviction order, ruled prosecution failed to prove actor was drunk
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court acquitted actor Salman Khan on Thursday of all charges in a 2002 hit-and-run case, overturning a trial court verdict that held him guilty of driving over and killing a man in a case that has gripped India for more than a decade.
Khan, dressed in a chequered shirt and blue jeans, kept a straight face as the judgment was delivered, but broke down after justice AR Joshi left the packed courtroom, even as the Bollywood star’s lawyers scrambled to finish legal formalities that would set him free.
The 49-year-old actor was held guilty by the lower court of running his Toyota Land Cruiser over a group of people sleeping on a pavement in Bandra, killing one of them and injuring four others. But the high court ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove “beyond reasonable doubt” that the actor was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident and was drunk. “The appeal is allowed. The trial court’s verdict is quashed and set aside...Salman is acquitted of all the charges,” the judge said.
Khan had appealed against the sessions court’s order that delivered a five-year jail sentence after convicting him of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The prosecution, which is the state of Maharashtra, may challenge this judgment in the SC.
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